Posts Tagged ‘Tucker Stone’

Best Online Comics Criticism 2010


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


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About a year ago, Ng Suat Tong invited me to help judge his annual online comics criticism event. Not seeing a good reason against it at the time, I agreed. (As you may remember, Frank participated last time around.) It was definitely an imperfect exercise, but I knew that going in. More on that later.

First, the winners, as listed by Suat here. (He also provided commentary on the panel as a whole and some of the runners up.)

1. “The Other Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name”, by Jason Thompson (6 votes)

I was apparently the only judge who didn’t vote for this article, which surprises me. Not because Thompson’s article is poor—in fact, I think it is a fine overview of an exotic (to Americans) cultural subject—but because it doesn’t seem to me to be criticism at all. The closest thing to a critical judgment that I can find in the essay comes in the summing-up statement: “In short, although a few artists like Moto Hagio write serious stories about the consequences of incest and child abuse, most manga and anime creators flirt with incest for kink, comedy and emotional effect.” Not exactly an electrifying insight.

Still and all, if this had been a competition designed simply to identify 2010′s best writing about comics on the internet, I may well have voted for this. But it wasn’t, and I didn’t.
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La-Z-Blog 2: Blog La-Z-er


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


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1. Tucker Stone interviews Frank and writes about Cold Heat.

2. A good, thorough review of that Fumetto Festival in Switzerland that Dan, Frank, Lauren, and Mark Newgarden kept going on and on about a few weeks back. I don’t mind that I didn’t attend, not at all. It sounds awful. I’m really glad I didn’t waste my time.

3. Lauren reports from last week’s SPX in Sweden, which I’m also glad I missed.

4. Gary Panter’s Zomoid!

5. I haven’t read Jamilti, and so can’t comment on the accuracy of this Guardian review of Rutu Modan’s collection, but I found it kind of interesting how the anti-comics-respectability meme idea-or-behavior-that-spreads-from-person-to-person-within-a-culture [Thanks, zik!] made its way in at the end. I’m probably forgetting a dozen different things, but I don’t remember encountering it in the mainstream press in quite this form before.

6. I didn’t actually have enough patience or interest to do more than skim this article from the same paper, but I’d say that in my case, my overindulgence in exclamation points stems almost entirely from having read too many comic books! I was surprised that Stan Lee didn’t get mentioned!

Done. And done!!!

UPDATE: Or not. One more quick one. If I wasn’t avoiding Twitter as much as possible on general principle, I would’ve seen this earlier. I had to google J.P., but it was worth it.

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Clean Up Crew


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009


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Sorry for the holiday drop in posting. If you missed us, Eric Reynolds graciously volunteered to fill in for Frank over at the Fantagraphics blog the other day.

Until we get back up to speed—which shouldn’t take more than a month or three—here’s a bunch of random stuff that needs posting before I forget about it.

1. The percentage of Comics Comics readers who don’t also follow the Comics Reporter probably approaches zero, but it would still feel a little odd not to note that Tom Spurgeon included Dan in his annual series of holiday interviews this year. You can read that discussion here.

2. Tom also interviewed the ultimate love-him-or-hate-him comics critic, Abhay Khosla (I kind of love him myself, at least when I’m in the right mood). It’s a good enough interview that I would’ve been tempted to link to it in any case, but he says enough nice and/or interesting things about PictureBox, and Comics Comics in particular, that my hand was more or less forced. I feel like maybe I should be offended by his comparison of us to “foodies”, but I’m having a hard time working up any indignation. Is Dan’s repeated praise of Howard Chaykin’s Photoshop skills on Punisher War Journal really an example of a gourmand’s taste? Seems more like a rationalized junk-food addiction to me. (And I like Chaykin.) I guess I’m trying to say I’m not sure we really deserve such credit. I mean, maybe sometimes, but usually we’re probably closer to A Hamburger Today than Gourmet. (I have no point. And on top of that, I don’t know what I’m talking about. This is really just an excuse to think about the Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt.)

3. The always thoughtful Rob Clough, who may be the comics-internet polar-opposite of Abhay Khosla (at least in terms of temperament), also recently praised Comics Comics 4, and with almost embarrassing enthusiasm and kindness. This only goes to show the awe-inspiringly broad appeal of CC. Still, his review is worth reading if only it convinces a few more people to check out the great and under-appreciated Mineshaft, the other magazine he considers.

4. Finally, I’m not about to start linking to a bunch of year-end best of 2008 lists (if you really like those things, then Dick Hyacinth has you covered), but Tucker Stone’s top ten at comiXology is the first place I’ve seen an extended take on one of the year’s other most under-discussed gems, Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby, and it’s worth pointing out for that reason alone.

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